The Lost Princess of Oz HTML version
The Mysterious City
There they sat upon the grass, their heads still swimming from their dizzy flights, and
looked at one another in silent bewilderment. But presently, when assured that no one
was injured, they grew more calm and collected, and the Lion said with a sigh of relief,
"Who would have thought those Merry-Go-Round Mountains were made of rubber?"
"Are they really rubber?" asked Trot.
"They must be," replied the Lion, "for otherwise we would not have bounded so swiftly
from one to another without getting hurt."
"That is all guesswork," declared the Wizard, unwinding the blankets from his body, "for
none of us stayed long enough on the mountains to discover what they are made of. But
where are we?"
"That's guesswork," said Scraps. "The shepherd said the Thistle-Eaters live this side of
the mountains and are waited on by giants."
"Oh no," said Dorothy, "it's the Herkus who have giant slaves, and the Thistle-Eaters
hitch dragons to their chariots."
"How could they do that?" asked the Woozy. "Dragons have long tails, which would get
in the way of the chariot wheels."
"And if the Herkus have conquered the giants," said Trot, "they must be at least twice the
size of giants. P'raps the Herkus are the biggest people in all the world!"
"Perhaps they are," assented the Wizard in a thoughtful tone of voice. "And perhaps the
shepherd didn't know what he was talking about. Let us travel on toward the west and
discover for ourselves what the people of this country are like."
It seemed a pleasant enough country, and it was quite still and peaceful when they turned
their eyes away from the silently whirling mountains. There were trees here and there and
green bushes, while throughout the thick grass were scattered brilliantly colored flowers.
About a mile away was a low hill that hid from them all the country beyond it, so they
realized they could not tell much about the country until they had crossed the hill. The
Red Wagon having been left behind, it was now necessary to make other arrangements
for traveling. The Lion told Dorothy she could ride upon his back as she had often done
before, and the Woozy said he could easily carry both Trot and the Patchwork Girl. Betsy
still had her mule, Hank, and Button-Bright and the Wizard could sit together upon the
long, thin back of the Sawhorse, but they took care to soften their seat with a pad of
blankets before they started. Thus mounted, the adventurers started for the hill, which
was reached after a brief journey.
As they mounted the crest and gazed beyond the hill, they discovered not far away a
walled city, from the towers and spires of which gay banners were flying. It was not a